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World News June 25, 2024

South Korea battery plant fire kills 22, including at least 10 Chinese nationals

A devastating fire broke out at a lithium battery factory in Hwaseong, South Korea, on Monday, resulting in the deaths of 22 workers. The fire, which began around 10:31 a.m. local time, was triggered by multiple powerful explosions at the primary battery plant located about 45 kilometers south of Seoul. Rescue workers recovered the bodies of 21 missing workers and one who died of cardiac arrest before the search began.

The incident left two workers seriously injured and six others with minor injuries, primarily from smoke inhalation. One worker remains unaccounted for. Firefighters faced significant challenges extinguishing the fire due to the lithium batteries stored on the factory’s second floor.

The factory, a three-story reinforced concrete building with a total area of approximately 2,300 square meters, housed around 35,000 lithium batteries. At least 10 Chinese nationals were among the deceased, though the exact death toll is still being confirmed.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has directed authorities to prioritize search and rescue operations, mobilizing all available resources. The cause of the fire remains unknown, and firefighting and rescue efforts are ongoing.

Source – CGTN


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